Important information on the CONCACAF Caribbean Club Shield and the new CONCACAF Caribbean Cup, the Confederation’s two Caribbean club competitions taking place in 2023, was announced on Friday by CONCACAF.
Both events serve as qualifiers for Confederation-wide competitions and are a part of the new CONCACAF club ecosystem that was unveiled in September 2021.
“The ongoing growth and development of Caribbean club football is a major priority for CONCACAF, and we are extremely pleased to announce the structure and format of the Caribbean Shield, and the CONCACAF Caribbean Cup which will qualify three teams into the new expanded CONCACAF Champions League. We believe these competitions will elevate leagues and clubs across the Caribbean and we look forward with great anticipation to them commencing in August this year,” said CONCACAF General Secretary, Philippe Moggio.
“I also want to place on record our gratitude to the St. Kitts and Nevis Football Association for offering to host the 2023 CONCACAF Caribbean Club Shield. We are very much looking forward to working with them to deliver this important competition,” added Moggio.
2023 CONCACAF CARIBBEAN SHIELD
The fifth edition of the CONCACAF Caribbean Shield will be hosted by Saint Kitts and Nevis Football Association and played between August 3-13, 2023.
The expanded competition will feature a total of 16 clubs from 16 CONCACAF Caribbean Member Associations, which are working with CONCACAF towards a long-term vision to professionalize the club game across the region.
The tournament in Saint Kitts and Nevis will kick off with a Group Stage (four groups of four clubs each). After round-robin play, the group winners (four teams in total) will advance to the semi-finals. The Semi-final winners (two clubs) will dispute the tournament’s final and secure a berth in the 2023 CONCACAF Caribbean Cup.
Thus far, 15 of the 16 participants have been confirmed. These are, in alphabetical order by Member Association: SV Dakota (Aruba), Scholars International SC (Cayman Islands), CRKSV Jong Holland (Curacao), Sagicor South East FC (Dominica), OyM FC (Dominican Republic), Solidarité Scolaire (Guadeloupe), AS Etoile De Matoury (French Guiana), Waterhouse FC (Jamaica), B1 Football Club (St Lucia), Golden Lion (Martinique), Metropolitan FA (Puerto Rico), St. Pauls United FC (Saint Kitts and Nevis), Junior Stars (Saint Martin), SV Robinhood (Suriname), and SWA Sharks FC (Turks and Caicos Islands). The last participating club, from Trinidad and Tobago, will be confirmed by May 28, 2023.
The official draw for the 2023 CONCACAF Caribbean Shield will take place on June 8.
2023 CONCACAF CARIBBEAN CUP
The first edition of the CONCACAF Caribbean Cup will feature 10 Caribbean clubs divided into two groups of five clubs each.
After round-robin play, where each club will play every other club in their group once (a total of four matches, two at home and two away), the two best clubs in each group will advance to the knockout stage.
The knockout stage of the competition will be composed of three rounds (semi-finals, third place play-in, and final), with the champion, runner-up, and third place finisher (three clubs) advancing to the new and expanded CONCACAF Champions League, which will be played in the spring of 2024. The Caribbean Cup Champion will receive a bye to the CONCACAF Champions League Round of 16.
Thus far, six clubs have secured their participation in this competition. They are, in alphabetical order by Member Association: Cibao FC (Dominican Republic), Moca FC (Dominican Republic), Club Atletico Pantoja (Dominican Republic), Cavalier SC (Jamaica), Dunbeholden FC (Jamaica), and Harbour View FC (Jamaica).
The remaining four participants will be confirmed at a later date. They will include two Trinidadian clubs and the champion and runner-up of the 2023 CONCACAF Caribbean Shield.
Meanwhile, The CONCACAF Council ratified the decision that Haitian clubs cannot participate in the upcoming CONCACAF Club Competitions (2023/24). This unfortunate decision had to be taken in view that the Haitian league did not commence any football activities in 2022 and has not yet resumed play, therefore, no teams have been able to qualify (in addition to other club licensing requirements). As a result, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica have been awarded an additional berth in the competition (based on the performance of clubs in the past five editions).
2023 CONCACAF Caribbean Cup Schedule Windows
Group Stage: August 22-24 (week 1), August 29-31 (week 2), September 19-21 (week 3), September 26-28 (week 4), and October 3-5 (week 5).
Semi-finals: October 24-26 (first legs) and October 31- November 2 (second legs).
Final and Third Place Play-In: November 28-30 (first legs) and December 5-7 (second legs).
The official draw for the 2023 CONCACAF Caribbean Cup will take place on June 8.
NEW CCL FORMAT FROM 2024
From 2024 onwards, the SCCL will be replaced by an expanded 27-club CONCACAF Champions League. The Confederation-wide competition will include five rounds (Round One, Round of 16, Quarter-finals, Semi-finals, and Final) and will continue to be played in a direct elimination format.
Furthermore, the Scotiabank Concacaf League will be replaced by three regional cup competitions – Leagues Cup, Central American Cup, and Caribbean Cup, that will be played in the fall of each year. These three new cups will qualify clubs for the expanded Champions League.